Processionals and Recessionals
If it is a church wedding,
sometimes the organ is the only way to get enough sound to make the Processional
as dramatic as it needs to be.
I’d encourage you to use it for that,
even if you’re having other types
of music elsewhere. Even in
wedding that’s not in a church, some of the tradition and meaning carries
over. So, what’s really happening
in the Processional? Why did
the word “dramatic?” In any wedding, this music signals the beginning of the
ceremony. In a church wedding, it
represents the gathering of people for worship, much the same as a Processional
Hymn. It symbolizes everyone
coming together for an important event in our lives, the clergy, the guests,
the participants. There’s
added “fun” in that you try to make the Bride’s entrance something memorable.
For this reason, you’ll
notice my choices don’t include “Canon in D” or “Jesu, Joy of Man’s
Desiring.” Nice pieces,
they’re not processionals, they’re quiet, dreamy pre-service music. Now, if you absolutely insist that your
wedding party must enter to something sleepy and hypnotic like that.. sure,
I’ll play it. But I really
encourage a more assertive style for the processional.
Recessionals (and literally
there is no such word because it means “walking backward” and you’re not going
to do that) can be similar to Processionals, or they can be a little
wilder. It’s a happy moment,
wedding party and guests are exiting.
Haydn, F. J. St.
Mathias, William Processional
Mendelssohn, Felix Wedding
March (“Midsummer Night’s Dream”)
Tune, Trumpet Voluntary
Chorus, Assembly March
on “Westminster Abbey”
Widor, C. M.
(Organ Symphony No. 5)
You can also use big
arrangements of hymn tunes, such as “Now Thank We All Our God”, or “Ode To Joy”
as processionals or recessionals.
Bach, J. S. Arioso,
Air for the G String, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Little Preludes and Fugues
Callahan, Charles Blest
Be The Tie That Binds Our Hearts, Partita on “Ode To Joy”
Cherwien, David The
King of Love My Shepherd Is, God
is With Us, Beautiful Savior
Handel, G. F.
Faithful Shepherd, Suite from “Water Music”
An Old English Tune, Aria
on “O Waly, Waly” (The Gift of Love)
on “O Perfect Love”
Rheinberger, Josef Fughetta
in E-flat, Cantilena
Vaughan Williams, Ralph Rhosymedre
Widor, Charles Marie
(4th movement, Organ Symphony No. 5)